Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Six Flags Wild Safari Review.

September 22, 2012

This is the last month where you can drive your own car into Six Flags Great Adventure’s Wild Safari. Starting next year, you have to ride a park vehicle to get close to the animals. So guess what I recently did? I visited the safari with my own car. Duh!

Like I’ve said in an earlier post, I’ve done the safari many years ago as a kid but never returned. I just had no interest in it and I had visions of animals denting the car or hosing it with their bodily fluids. Not a fun thought. However, since they are taking the option away, How could I say no? It was also free since I’m a season pass-holder so I decided to give it a shot.

When I think about the safari, the main thought that comes to mind is that this place is BIG. Really, I had no idea how long I would be in there. It’s kinda my fault because I didn’t think it was so large. I was driving slowly in the first half and taking in the sights. If I knew how much space the safari holds, I would’ve picked up the pace.

Of course, it only makes sense to not bring a decent camera when I plan to view animals so I had to use my wife’s and my cell phone camera to take pictures. That doesn’t help when the animals are far away and the zoom quality gets even lower.

I was getting worried when the buffalo’s were getting close and walking onto the path. I was afraid that one would go crazy and start ramming a car. They do have big horns and frankly, I’m not used to seeing animals this big. You gain a level of respect when you see a strong animal so close. I was also afraid of accidentally hitting or running over an animal. A duck can sneak to your car and you wouldn’t know until you hear that crunch sound, similar to stepping on snow.

 

The elephants were definitely one of the highlights of the safari. They were big and just cool to look at. One of them even performed by going potty. Much better than just standing around doing nothing. They were also throwing dirt onto their own bodies and if I remember correctly, that’s how they keep cool. It doesn’t look it from these pictures but they really do have a lot of space to walk around, so that’s cool too.

 

There are other animal sections littered throughout the safari with animals from around the world. They may not be as impressive as the elephants but they are still interesting since one doesn’t normally see these animals in everyday life. And no, I’m not trying to be nice to these “Plain Jane” animals.

 

The giraffes were pretty cool too and they would eat out of people’s hands. I assume there must be some kind of food to purchase in advance since I do not believe giraffes would like red hot pork rinds. They’re also the tallest animals in the safari and they made me really uncomfortable when they got next to our car. Big animals like that can do serious damage if they ever went berserk. I don’t know if they do, but I have seen too many shows like “When Good Pets Go Bad,” and the like. I do have that kind of luck.

 

What can I say about the ostriches? They were ostriches. Basically overgrown birds. I didn’t see anything exciting but it was fun to pull up right beside one and watch it peck the ground. I assume it must’ve been looking for food. What a crappy life.

 

The lions had the biggest traffic and we must have been in that area for 20 minutes at least. Everyone wanted to have a look at Simba and friends. This was also the first time I’ve ever heard a lion roar in person. I have to tell you, that was probably the closest I’ll ever get to hearing a monster’s bellow because it was a unreal sound. All the MGM movie roars do not give it any justice at all. Just the bass alone was frightening. I don’t ever want to meet the end by the hands (or paws) of these creatures.

 

They also had tigers and zebras, which I expected. There were at least two white tigers, which makes me wonder if they are the same cats that were in the tiger show that used to be in the park. That was a cool show and even had a Halloween theme when Fright Fest came around. Not a bad retirement I think.

 

As we got near the end, I was starting to get impatient. It seemed like we were in there forever. I kept getting pretty close to breaking the 12mph speed limit several times. The last animals we saw were llamas and goats, which kept getting in the way of traffic. Whenever the road temporary cleared and you started moving forward, they would get in the way again. They were almost as bad as New York City pedestrians. Finally, an employee pulled up in a themed pickup, got out while holding a long stick with a string attached to the end and started yelling at them while flicking the stick. That got them moving and thankfully so since the time was almost an hour past the safari’s closing time. At that point I wanted to get the heck out of there. As I drove past all the 1,000+ kids (young goats), I remember thinking that they had to do something to curb all the humping.

At the end, you get to see Kingda Ka from an unusual yet cool angle and the road quickly leads into the parking lot for the main park. Overall I thought it was a cool safari. It was a bit crowded but that’s expected since the safari will close at the end of this month. I’m sure the safari truck Six Flags will provide next year will be cool, but there’s nothing like drinking your own Pepsi and eating macaroni salad from Wawa while touring the safari. I doubt management will let you do that on the truck. The safari will only be open to visitor cars tomorrow and next weekend before they close that option forever. If you’re in the area, I’d suggest giving it a try while you can.

Awesome ride!

Six Flags Great Adventure Safari Update.

August 31, 2012

Earlier this week I mentioned the change to the safari where visitors will not be able to drive their cars inside the animal habitat anymore. While that is a bummer and will end at the end of September, the Six Flags brass has come out with a new press release on the new park features for the 2013 season.

As I mentioned as a possible…uh, possibility, the safari park will have their own vehicles that will take groups closer to the animals than before. According to NBC news, “Guests will follow the escapades of the fictional Wilds family that stays at Camp Aventura, the main stop in the off-road excursion.” (MSN.com) I like this idea because it takes a storytelling page from the Disney imagineers playbook.

WTF! Their photo, not mine.

A strange fact is that the entrance to this new attraction is in the Frontier Adventures section of the park, themed with a western motif. I find this strange because there is another section of the park called The Golden Kingdom where it is themed after the jungle and has bamboo plants, had the white tiger show, and is home to the rollercoaster Kingda Ka, which is also themed after the jungle. If they plan on keeping any sense with their themed sections , they may get rid of The Golden Kingdom, which would be a shame because it is done nicely.

I hope for no change.

They also will have a zipline that would go over the safari, but I would imagine the lines being too crazy to wait for and I don’t want to risk getting a flesh-eating bacteria.

Remember, the drive-through ends this September 30th. Last chance to experience it before this driving option closes forever.

SFGA Safari Go Bye-Bye!

August 27, 2012

While doing some random surfing, I found some bad news: the drive through safari at Six Flags Great Adventure will be closing forever. The last day of operation will be on September 30, 2012. Note, the press release says that the animals will still be there, so I think either the animals have nowhere else to crash and will stay there by their lonesome selves, or visitors won’t be able to drive through the safari and the park will offer their own transportation. Either way, it’s a shame that a tradition that has been around since the 1970’s will be leaving.

I could understand why the brass would make a decision like that. Maybe someone hit a giraffe or opened their window and was attacked. Let’s face it though, almost everyone opens their window to feel like a daring badass. Even my mom did that once and a ostrich bit the sun visor. In a different situation the bite could be someone’s nose, or if some jerk is flashing the animals…well, let’s not even think about that.

However, all is not lost. Six Flags stated that there will be a big announcement for the 2013 season, which included the safari among other things. That announcement is only this Thursday so park visitors do not have to wait long. I’m curious to see what the deal will be since it seems like Six Flags is making a big stink about the upcoming news. So, if you haven’t been to the safari in many years (like me) or never been, you should definitely check it out soon. A month flies by and you can easily miss out. I may check it out on Labor Day weekend since they will have fireworks, which seems to be rare for the park nowadays. Animals and fireworks…sounds like a winning combo to me.

Would be even better if they can combine the two.

Take Cover!!!